Freakonomics Celebrates Father's Day

Levitt and Dubner reflect on their fathers.

We Need More Holidays

Now taking suggestions for new holidays.

Are Economists Cheap? Or Do We Just Believe in Comparative Advantage?

The front page of Saturday's Wall Street Journal tells us that "Economists are cheapskates." The article by Justin Lahart is hilarious, recounting the foibles of those of us who sometimes take our classroom lessons about economizing a step too far - particularly when it comes to economizing on time.

What to Get an Economist for Christmas?

Christmas and economists go together like - well, like drinking and walking. Joel Waldfogel, the economist who is famous for highlighting the deadweight loss of gift-giving, has a new book out called Scroogenomics: Why You Shouldn't Buy Presents for the Holidays.

A Gut Yontif for L.A. Drivers

This was no fluke; there's a big improvement in the Westside traffic situation every year on the Jewish high holidays. To many, this seems mysterious. True, West L.A. and the southern San Fernando Valley have large Jewish populations, but not that large.

How To Measure Rosh Hashanah Services

My wife and I were speculating on how long last Friday's Rosh Hashanah service would last. We both figured on two hours, but my wife said, "Services always last longer than you expect."

FREAK Shots: The Upside of Cooking Dangerously

Turkey fryers are fixtures at southern holiday parties. As I watched my friend’s husband gleefully fry his turkey in a big vat of boiling oil this Christmas, I became a bit concerned for his and my safety … and rightly so. Underwriters Laboratories has refused to put its label of approval on turkey fryers out […]

Puzzling Over the Invisible Economy

Last week I did something that felt very 1990's: I purchased a compact disc. The CD wasn't for me; it was a Christmas present.

As I wrapped the CD, I pondered the silliness of the whole enterprise. After all, the recipient -- like most of us these days -- listens almost exclusively to MP3 files. In fact, I'm not even sure if he has a CD player beyond his laptop, which he will use to convert his disc-shaped gift into a more useful set of MP3 files.

Our Daily Bleg: What Do You Get an Economist?

Freakonomics reader Presh Talwalkar, author of the Mind Your Decisions blog, wonders why there’s no holiday-gift guide for economists: I see many practical applications to such a list. It could help students give gifts to professors, businesses give gifts to hired economists, etc. Perhaps this list would reduce the “deadweight loss” of Christmas gifts. The […]

Why Roast a Turkey?

Photo: cobalt123 According to this collection of turkey statistics, “more than 45 million turkeys are cooked and eaten in the U.S. at Thanksgiving.” In a country of some 300 million people, that’s one whole turkey for every 6.67 people. According to this report, the average Thanksgiving gathering has about 11 people. So that’s nearly two […]